As soon as someone hears that not only are we foster parents but that we homeschool too I inevitably hear the following:
*I don’t know how you do it.
*I couldn’t stay home all day with my kids, it would drive me nuts.
*I don’t have time to homeschool
Seriously – at least twice a week I get one of those remarks directed to me! Most days I just smile and nod and try to re-direct the conversation, but even when I take the time to engage the person they still don’t seem to understand that I have the same number of hours in a day that they do, we just structure our days a little differently.
So, if you have ever wondered how we deal with foster care and homeschool this is how we do it: Our typical school day runs from 9am to 11:30am, with room for arts & crafts and free play in the afternoon. Any appointments for Baby I are scheduled around our school time – I’m really strict on this. The only exception are doctor appointments that absolutely can’t be scheduled any other time.
With that said, this is what a *normal* day looks like for us:
7:00am – kids are up, breakfast and getting dressed. Usually Disney Jr is on the TV for the kids while Ken and I grab coffee/tea and discuss the day.
8:00am – all four kids dressed, laundry is started (I do 2-4 loads a day), breakfast dishes are washed, Baby I has floor time with the big kids.
8:30am – Baby I goes down for a nap. Girls play LEGOS.
9:30am – Baby I has therapy – either PT or OT once/twice a week.
10:00am – Snack time. The girls watch their science or history video (depending on what we are studying) while eating snack. Then we work on lapbooks, notebooking or copywork.
10:30am – Baby I needs to eat.
11:00am – Finish up anything that we didn’t work on and clear table for lunch. Depending on the day the girls might help with lunch prep.
11:30am – Lunch. Baby I usually goes down for a nap.
12:00pm – Sam goes down for a nap. The girls have a few minutes to work on any art projects they have going. Sophie is sewing a pillow and Bella is crafting clay at the moment.
1:00pm – the girls have quiet time in their room. They can use Kindle Free Time Unlimited on their Kindle Fires, or they can read quietly.
2:30pm – snack time for the girls. Baby I usually gets up to eat around now.
3:00pm – Free play time for the girls – usually LEGOS while we are stuck inside. When the weather is nice we go outside for a few hours every day. Sam gets up around now.
4:30pm – Dinner. Baby I takes a quick catnap.
5:00pm – Dishes cleaned, kitchen wiped down. Lessons set out for tomorrow.
5:30pm – Baby I is up and gets more floor therapy time.
6:00pm – Sam goes to bed
7:00pm – Girls go to bed. At some point Baby I gets a last bottle and goes down for the night.
Obviously, some days don’t go quite like this – and there are days when we start late or finish early. I plan 2-3 field trips a month – this month we are going to the Mercer Museum and the Crayola Experience. We head to the library every other week for new books/videos, and yes, taking 4 kids to the library can be interesting….but we go when it isn’t busy and the librarians love my kids. Or at least they pretend to while we are there.
If you are thinking about homeschooling (or foster care!) and worry that you won’t have enough time to fit everything in, believe me you can. It will take some trial and error before figuring out what will work and what won’t, but I wouldn’t trade spending all this time with my kids for the world. It’s totally worth it!